After a good talk with a good friend last night, I was convinced to break down my comments on morality and manipulation a little more. Hopefully, a few concise posts will help more understand.
Conclusion: Any concept that we are making moral progress or that humanity is moving towards some more perfect moral existence is false.
First, all morality is based on presuppositions. Thanks to some of our diligent atheist friends we know that there is no ultimate truth. All of these presuppositions are subject to doubt. None, are self-evident. These moral truths are only true because we choose to believe the presuppositions. These moral truths are only as true as we want them to be.
Secondly, the selection process of morals is endemically corrupted by the desire for power and status. Either the moral behavior serves the interest of the one making the argument, or the very act of making a successful moral argument serves to give status to the talented orator. Moral truths are not chosen through an altruistic search for truth, but to serve the interests of individuals. How can they be finding truth, when there is no truth?
No utopia, based on moral enlightenment, can ever come. Our human experience is becoming more comfortable, but it is not becoming more moral.